Mikheil Saakashvili has been on a hunger strike in prison for 28 days, and on October 27 posted on his Facebook page that he is refusing treatment for his worsening condition.
“Since this morning, the opportunity to communicate with private lawyers has been completely blocked. In the meeting room, the glass wall between us has been blackened and blocked, which means that we can no longer exchange documents. At the same time, there is very poor audibility. Such a thing has never been seen in Georgia, and never in Europe. It has been a long time since we had a realized court, and a prosecutor no longer exists: our advocacy has been abolished!
“From today, I categorically refuse any research, treatment or reanimation services related to my hunger strike. This will continue until my right to unhindered relations with human rights defenders is restored!” reads his post.
Saakashvili further claimed he was “practically in a Russian prison,” not a Georgian one, adding that even staff were being forced to “act like Russians.”
On Wednesday, the European People’s Party, via social platform Twitter, called on the Georgian authorities to transfer the former President to a civil hospital.
“We are concerned with reports on Saakashvili’s deteriorating health.
We call on the Georgian authorities to urgently transfer former President Saakashvili to an appropriate civil hospital; by not doing so, those authorities bear responsibility for any aggravation of his health,” reads the Tweet.
Ukrainian Ombudsman Lyudmila Denisova met with Mikheil Saakashvili in Rustavi Prison on Wednesday, and prior to entering, told reporters that the main purpose of her visit was to find out how the ex-president’s rights are being protected in prison.
“Today, we have the opportunity to visit Mikheil Saakashvili, a citizen of Ukraine. I personally want to know about his condition, because today is the 27th day of his hunger strike. I want to make sure help will be provided at the prison hospital. If this hospital does not meet the standards required for the President, I am ready to meet with his personal physician. The main purpose of my visit is to find out how his rights are being protected here,” Denisova said.
She also touched upon the fact that on Tuesday, Saakashvili’s Ukrainian lawyer was not allowed to enter Georgia, and noted she would investigate the reasons.
Saakashvili’s Ukrainian lawyer Evgeny Grushovets stated he was refused entry to Georgia without any explanation, and was returned to Ukraine.
“I experienced ‘Georgian hospitality’ for myself. I was not even allowed to enter Tbilisi airport. They did not explain the reason. They checked my passport and handed it to the crew commander. I explained that I came to visit Mikheil Saakashvili, but, unfortunately, I was returned to Ukraine,” Grushovets wrote on Facebook. According to the lawyer, he was labeled a “deported passenger.”
On October 27, a concluding election meeting of Georgian Dream party supporters was held in Liberty (Freedom) Square. Prior to the event, Saakashvili addressed the founder of the Georgian Dream party Bidzina Ivanishvili through his Facebook page.
“I appeal to Ivanishvili: You have closed and blackened my windows, cut off my phone, but not through the court. You are afraid to take me to an ordinary hospital. If you really had the courage to do something, you would take me to this paid rally of yours and hold a debate there, in front of the people you brought,” the post reads.
Rustavi Prison denied the accusations about the conditions offered to Saakashvili. See here for more.